Wooden Boats and Iron Men
The Fall season of 1984 was the final year in which GW Crew actively rowed with wooden blades.
Varsity teams had already begun using the significantly lighter carbon fiber blades.
Novice teams would run to retrieve their oars before practice – not out of fitness aspirations, but because the diameter of the oar handles varied so much. Being able to wrap fingers but a little more than halfway around the oar handle would have a great influence over one’s blade control for that practice.
Novice boats were also all made of wood. The “Black 8″ named because the riggers were painted black and the “Mary C” named after Coach Cullen‘s Mary counted as the fleet.